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Emma Black

2015 Award Winner

Emma is the Co-Founder and Chief of Industry and Product of Black Box Co. Founded in 2020 with Shannon Speight (2019 Co-Winner) Black Box is a SAAS product that ingests production data generated within the livestock supply chain and turns it into easy-to-understand visual insights to allow producers to make informed management and genetic decisions. Prior to this Emma worked in roles right along the Beef supply chain from nutrition consulting, extension and research to meat processing. She is passionate about bringing together the on-ground knowledge, science and data to upskill producers, feedlotters and processors to allow them to make the best management decisions for their business. Through the Zanda McDonald Award Shannon and Emma have an incredible sounding board and industry support to enable them to create a much needed solution for the livestock industry.

As winner of the prestigious Zanda McDonald Award in 2015 Emma undertook a tailored mentoring program with some of the most successful agricultural businesses across Australia and New Zealand focussing on business management and data collection. Passionate about supporting the next generation of leaders Emma sits on the Board of the Zanda McDonald Award and the Advancing Beef Leaders Foundation. In addition, she was coach of the Australian National Meat Judging team for four years, taking them to the USA to compete at International Livestock Shows, learn about their agriculture industries and meat grading systems. Originally completing a Bachelor of Livestock Science, Emma has further studied a Graduate Certificate in Rural Science - Agriculture Consulting (UNE) a Graduate Certificate in Agribusiness (MOC).

"After winning, I visited 24 people and organisations, but one stood out: accomplished businesswoman and Zanda McDonald’s wife, Julie. “She’s one of my most influential mentors — even now — but particularly when I was having kids,” Emma reveals. “I was thinking: ‘Oh, I’ve just won this award, been offered these amazing opportunities, then had a baby. How am I going to juggle all of this? But Julie told me: ‘Enjoy this time with your kids, industry will wait for you."

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